Maria Parr was born in 1981 in the Norwegian coastal village Fiskå. As a child she was an enthusiastic storyteller, and kept her three siblings up late at night with her tales. Parr already began writing stories in school. She studied Nordic Languages and Literature at the University of Bergen. She currently teaches part time at the high school in Vanylven.
Her first book »Vaffelhjarte« (2005; t. Waffelheart) was written while she was studying Literature at the University of Bergen. At the heart of the story is the nine-year-old Trille, who lives in a house on the coast with his brothers and sisters, parents, and grandfather. Their house is directly opposite Lena’s. Trille and Lena are inseparable and together they have countless adventures. Trille is fairly sure that Lena is his best friend – but he’s not quite sure if he is her best friend. Maria Parr examines her characters’ feelings with surgical accuracy and writes feelingly about their hopes and fears. The »Süddeutsche Zeitung« wrote of Maria Parr’s book: »a mixture of tension, comedy, and grief as well, told with a lot of emotion and with bubbly dialogues,«, giving the reader »a convincing heroine who is allowed to experience things for herself, not in order to learn a lesson (as is so often the case with children’s books), but in order to see what life can be.« The book has already been serialised for Norwegian television. Maria Parr’s second book for children, »Tonje Glimmerdal« (2009) is about Tonje, who lives in the tiny village of Glimmerdal, tucked away in a remote Norwegian valley. Tonje’s only playmate and friend is, by default, the elderly Gunnvald. When he is suddenly sent to hospital and a strange woman moves into his house, Tonje has to make use of all her ingenuity to put life back on course. »Tonje Glimmerdal« was also widely praised upon publication, and was described by the »NZZ« as »a dramatically brilliant example of children’s literature, exciting, surprising, magical. It’s a tale of trust and friendship, of love and disappointment between children and parents, told with tenderness and humour.« Both of Maria Parr’s novels exhibit her outstanding narrative talents and a remarkable depth of insight concerning themes of home, friendship and family.
Maria Parr’s books have won many prizes, including the Luchs, the Brage Prize, the Silbernen Griffel and the Prix Sorcière. Her work has also been published in other countries, including Russia, where it is very popular. Maria Parr lives in Volda, a university town on the Norwegian coast.
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